Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Burnett is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    1
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Exam Question...

    In an exam I have the following sentence that requires students to put the verb into the passive in the correct form.

    It's freezing in here. _____________ the heating ____________? (turn off)

    I believe it to be 'Has the heating been turned off?'
    However, is 'Is the heating turned off?' or 'Was the heating turned off' acceptable?

    Thanks :)

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    22,552
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Exam Question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Burnett View Post
    In an exam I have the following sentence that requires students to put the verb into the passive in the correct form.

    It's freezing in here. _____________ the heating ____________? (turn off)

    I believe it to be 'Has the heating been turned off?'
    However, is 'Is the heating turned off?' or 'Was the heating turned off' acceptable?

    Thanks :)
    Welcome to the forums, Burnett. I would choose "Has the heating been turned off?" but the other two are possible. It's not a good test question.

  3. #3
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15,579
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Exam Question...

    Yup, it's a lousy question, as given the right context any of the three would be acceptable. But if the only context you have is 'It's an exam question' the answer they're looking for is 'Has...'.

    b

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,168
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Exam Question...

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    But if the only context you have is 'It's an exam question' the answer they're looking for is 'Has...'.
    Sad, but true. There are still far too many people writing test questions who think that the most likely option is the only 'correct' one. Even if they ask for the 'most appropriate' rather than the 'correct' answer, they are making a value judgement with which not all native speakers would agree.

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,099
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Exam Question...

    I'd say the quality of the question would depend on how many answers they accept- it's possible that all three are OK, which makes it correct, though it is unclear what they are testing. This would be a dreadful multiple choice question.

Similar Threads

  1. a Question of anl exam
    By apfldi1975 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 19-Apr-2012, 12:39
  2. exam question (active-passive voice)
    By fionzh in forum Teaching English
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 11-May-2011, 14:18
  3. a question in an official exam.
    By oceansoul in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-May-2010, 03:19
  4. An exam question from Turkey
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-Jul-2008, 09:01
  5. a question of English used in an entrance exam
    By popri in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 27-Feb-2006, 03:15

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •